Matt Jones is the online sports director for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A two-time graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, and voter for the Biletnikoff Award.
Coaching hire not likely this week
Jeff Long told players Sunday to expect a new coach within 10-14 days.
FAYETTEVILLE Monday marks the 230th day of Arkansas' search for a football coach to replace Bobby Petrino, but the hire isn't likely to be made this week.
Speaking at a Sunday night team meeting, UA athletics director Jeff Long told players a new hire would be made "within 10 to 14 days, but offered no other leads" as to who the Razorbacks will hire, according to a source who attended the meeting. One report last week stated the hire could be made within a week of the team's finale against LSU last Friday.
The 10- to 14-day time table indicates Long will wait until after the end of the college football regular season Saturday to make a hire. Long has been tight-lipped about the search, offering few clues and naming no candidates.
John L. Smith, who was hired to a 10-month contract as football coach following Petrino's firing in April, was reassigned Saturday to a consultant role for the duration of his contract, which expires Feb. 23.
"Coach Smith was very positive," the source said of the meeting. "But there is that looming uncertainty and waiting game that was very present."